Thursday, January 08, 2015

Getting My Toddler To Sleep | A New Battle In Parenting ♥

Why you no like sleep no more?

I was thankfully blessed with a child who loves his sleep just as much as I do. He's sleep through the night ever since he was six months old and I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly grateful I am for that. I'm someone who cannot function without at least eight hours sleep and even after that I could still sleep some more. Of course, the full nights sleep always came with an early morning but I could live with that, early start more productivity and all that jazz. As of late though my little angel who loved getting into his cot for his naps and at bedtime has been fighting his sleep, screaming and jumping up and down as soon as I put him in his cot. Where he would have giggled and looked forward to the though of bedtime before he now runs away at the mention of the words 'nap' or 'sleepy sleepy'. I honestly don't know what has happened and I'm beginning to despair at the lack of a nap to break up the day and the thought of trying to get him into his cot once bedtime arrives.

Nothing has changed in his routine, although of the festive period his daily nap was interrupted or sometimes he didn't get it at all but bedtime was always the same, 7 o'clock on the dot after a bath and story time. I toyed with the idea of keeping him up later but I really don't think 7 o' clock is an unreasonable bed time for a 22 month old. Then I began to think, maybe I am being unreasonable. Can I really expect my boy to have a nap if he doesn't want to just because I think he needs to have this as part of his routine, or rather do I need it - do I need that break during the day, that 'me' time... maybe I'm being selfish (I most certainly am). My son has been very kind to me with his love of sleep really since he was born, I didn't have that newborn stage of him waking up a lot during the night, it was always two times during the night max for the first six weeks and he always went straight back to sleep, maybe now it's time to have that awkward sleeping stage... I have to admit though, I could have coped with a newborn, having a screaming, kicking, throwing things toddler to contend with is much harder. My forces aren't strong enough to overcome his thundering screams, plus the super thin walls don't help, my poor neighbour... There comes a time when no amount of cuddles, kisses, reassurance, blankies, stories or lullabies won't work, in fact, I think they're an insult to my anti-sleep toddler, I probably disgust him at these times when I am almost pleading with him to sleep... he knows what he's doing.

I hate battling with him, he's such a sweetheart and I hate to see him cry. I'm such a wimp when it comes to any sort of discipline or making him do things which he doesn't want to do, I give up so easily but with bedtime I just can't. I'm a creature of routine and I need him to be with me on this - easier said then done when he doesn't understand of course. I'm happy for him to give up his nap, (can you see I'm doing some negotiating here?) as long as bedtime isn't a struggle... wishful thinking on my part I'm sure, if we're negotiating he's going to come out with the better deal, everytime, I really need to put my foot down.

Has anyone else had this with their toddlers? Is it a thing? (If it is it's a very crappy thing!) This parenting lark seems to get harder and harder with each stage, give me the newborn stage again anyday. We've now both been up since 5.30, he's had his breakfast, watched some cartoons and is sitting on my lap limp, sleepy and tired, I know though if I put him upstairs it's going to be another battle, one which he'll win for sure. Why won't he sleep? What can I do? Help! My toddler won't sleep and I don't drink coffee!
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24 comments

  1. Oh my godness this sounds so like my daughter at the moment she is 19 months old and like your son has always been a great sleeper but the last week or so she just won't nap during the day then gets grumpy and is crying and refusing to sleep at bed. Last night she screamed for two hours , ripped the wallpaper off her walls and was trying to escape her cot and ended up falling out. Then she woke up at 5am this morning and is once again tired and irritable today. I also have a four month old who is a lot easier to look after then a toddler. I'm hoping it's just a phase as I am exhausted off her xx

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  2. It passes, so don't worry. The thing with my 7 year old, though, is that it hasn't passed yet. My 10 year old is great about going to bed now, though.

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  3. I can tell you exactly what we have been battling with since the last year I'd say it is now.
    Matthew is the sweetest boy for going to sleep in a big bed in creche for his one hour nap. At home at the weekend you wouldn't even think of this. Lately he likes getting up at 7am for whatever reason, I know it's better than 530 but he would normally sleep until 8am. Once he's up at the weekend he is getting tired after 4 hours or so. So basically I give him his breakfast around 9am and then he has his nap before lunch at 12. I don't put him up in his bed like that. We have to put him in the car, drive 20 mins and transfer him into his bed then. Works a treat but might not be a solution for everyone but I honestly can't be bothered battling trying to get him to sleep when I know this works without any fighting.

    Bed time... Since a year too we are rocking him to sleep in a rocking chair. Then he's being transfered to his bed. Since November though when he was really sick he wakes at night and wants to come into our bed. Once he is in there he sleeps till the morning but I'm planning on changing that too if even possible.

    Anyway, overall this is a common thing in toddlers. I've read about this on so many mummy blogs lately and came to the conclusion to be hard with him and let him cry. Have a look at this article from a mum. It's long but worth reading.

    http://becomingastayathomemum.com/dr-ferbers-progressive-wait-approach/

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  4. Oh boy, do I feel your pain. We had a terrible time getting my nephew to go to sleep. We ended up doing the old "cry it out" method. It worked, but it was terrible to listen to him scream his head off.

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  5. Its somewhat of a phase thing and somewhat not. My kids on and off are good sleepers.

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  6. Darcie hasn't napped since she was one. Not my decision, she just didn't want/need her nap. The only time she "naps" now, is if she is in the car. On day's where she has fallen asleep in the car are the only nights she is a problem at bed time. She really does test me on these evenings. On an ordinary day when there is no naps, she goes to bed perfectly.

    May be worth dropping the nap?

    Kay | www.mummyburgess.co.uk xxx

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  7. I've got three boys and they are all different burg sleep. The first two could not nap or they wouldn't sleep. The oldest is four and now goes to bed and wakes once... the middle one tries to nap and if successful is up all hours, but once asleep wakes once, and the baby sleeps brilliantly. It will all pass...eventually :)

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  8. Oh I hope that is a face he will outgrow! I would be glad he is sleeping through the night I know several moms who kids don't nap and don't sleep at night

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  9. The problem is that if we give in even once, they remember and they work it harder and harder in hopes we'll give in again. They're such little sneakies!

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  10. I had the same problem with lillibug around the same age. We had to give up naptime and it made the difference to getting her to bed at night. 7 is not an unreasonable time at all x

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  11. I believe this is normal in children. My daughters slept really good through the night and then all of a sudden they wouldn't sleep well. My husband and I would have to keep bringing them back to bed because they would go to our bed in the middle of the night. It was so tough because we would have to get up multiple times in the middle of the night. Luckily we stuck to it and kept putting them back to bed and they eventually started sleeping in their own beds again. I know it can be difficult, but I'm sure it will pass. I think it happens to a lot of children. Just part of life. :)

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  12. This too shall pass. Trust me, they will eventually grow out of this 'rebel' stage and get to sleep when they get into a routine of their own. Our first one put us through much of what you are going through. I have to say, I don't miss those days.

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  13. Oh how I remember those struggles. My son also had night terrors and had issues taking the breast or bottle. It was a nightmare. Come to find out, he has autism, which fueled all those sleep issues. We co-slept with him until he was almost 10.

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  14. Oh how I remember those days. It's hard for parents and the child. Things will get better they always do. Those long naps are killer! lol

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  15. Sleep routines were always the biggest hurdles so far as a parent. It can be so incredibly frustrating.

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  16. When I read your heading, I just nodded my head! I know exactly what you talking about because I've been having "sleep drama" from 6 months with my daughter. I'm still breastfeeding, shes 2 and still doesnt sleep through the night. I wouldnt advise the cry it out either but routine and discipline is needed which I failed in. I hope it gets better for you.

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  17. This is a phase that toddlers go through as they become aware of their space and become more assertive. It's part of the terrible twos and will pass. Please don't use that Ferber approach or letting the child cry till they drop. Extend his bedtime to say 7:15 and read to him in his room. Stay with him for a bit and let him know you'll check in.

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    1. Oh I would never let him cry until he dropped, I hate the thought of that :( I always read to him in his room and stay until he falls asleep. Last night he went down easier than the previous nights.

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  18. My youngest stopped sleeping through the night around 8 months. She's still nursing, now 13 months old, and getting her to sleep through the night and in her own bed (let alone her own room) has been a struggle for us. Even if she was just in her own bed, I'd be happy.

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  19. We have friends who told us not to let your youngest sleep with us when he was little. Of course, we didn't listen. He's 7 and still sleeps with us on weekends. We don't mind, I'm just sayin'.... :) It started because he couldn't sleep well in his room.;)

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  20. Oh this is a thing. Kiddo was that way when she was younger. She is almost 10 now and let me tell you, it only gets worse if you continue to give in. Although I don't have this problem because she minds me, I can see her behavior with her dad and his mom. I think everyone just has to roll with the punches and work things out the best that they can. Each kid is different. Each parent is different.

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  21. Ahhhhh... This is why I'm scared to ever have another kid!! My daughter has been pretty much perfect sleepwise since she was born! I know I would never luck out like this again & seriously wouldn't know how to handle this kinda situation like most of you go threw after dealing with the complete opposite

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  22. I really love this post! It reminds me about my daughter's toddler stage. She troubles a lot repeatedly at nights. But they are so precious & we can never take it as a trouble in real. I think this is normal with most of the children.

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  23. I have trouble getting my toddler to sleep quite often, but once she falls asleep, she's usually down for the count throughout the night. Meanwhile, my 8 year old doesn't want to sleep at all at times even though he know that his bedtime is at 8 PM.

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Peace & love,
Fiona
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